RSS

Category Archives: Blogging

Where In The World Are You, Readers? [INTERACTIVE PROJECT]


4SQ8bKq

Hello. I’m Chris.

I live with severe depression and in September of 2014 I unsuccessfully hanged myself – my friends saved me. 

I’m also a history/geography nut.Picture of Chris, the blogger of surviving the specter.

I’ve seen some pretty interesting locations showing up in the stats portion of surviving the specter, and am interested to know where visitors are viewing from. If you would kindly let me know where you are from and what drew you to the site, I would appreciate your thoughts.

Please feel free to include any other comments or even ideas for future posts.

If you’re interested in being a guest blogger, check out the guest blogging tab and email me your work – I’d love to read what you have.

As always, thank you for taking your time to help with this project and may you find peace through your valley, my friend.

Whether you’re a follower or you just stopped in to see this cool image, would you go ahead and let us know where you live in the Comments section?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How To Make Really Cool Edits With Pixlr Express Photo Editor [FREE APP TUTORIAL]


Image of beach edited in Pixlr Express

Finished edited image using the free photo editing app, Pixlr Express

I like free stuff.

I’m not talking about free stuff with a coupon. That’s too much hassle.That’s what you call a chore. That’s using-your-finger-to-turn-on-the-TV kind of chore.

I’m talking about free as in a giveaway. Like that Christmas present you get from your mammy. Or a birthday gift you get from your boo.

FREE BABY!!!!!!!! YEAH!

This post is going to show how I use the FREE app, Pixlr to edit images for my blogs, as well as for other social media. There is an android mobile version as well as an iOS mobile version.

And both are free!

If you love adding enhancements to the images on your phone (or desktop) when you’re crunched for time or on the go, this formidable app is the one to use. I swear by it.

For this tutorial, I’m using the desktop/PC version. Both the mobile and desktop version are virtually similar so there won’t be too much of a learning gap if you switch between the two.

Let’s jump right into it! Here’s the steps-

Pixlr Express home screen

Pixlr Express home screen

1.   First, go to the Pixlr site on your pc/Mac. Here’s where to find it if you’re following along on your workstation – http://pixlr.com/express/

2.   Open the file you want to edit.

♦   You can use the Browse button to open a file from your computer,

♦   The Open URL button to open from a web source, or

♦   The Webcam button to capture an image from your web camera.

♦   There is also a Collage button that I would suggest playing around with.

Image showing Pixlr's 7 main editing modes

Pixlr’s 7 main editing modes

3.   Understand the editing modes. Once you’ve opened your image you will see the interface shown above. On the top left there is a Save and Close button and on the top right are a Undo, Redo, Fullscreen button, as well as a Minimize/Maximize button, and Zoom slider.

Image showing Pixlr's editing modes

Pixlr’s editing modes

At the bottom of the screen you will see 7 buttons (shown above). Since this is the meat of the issue, I’m going to provide a little more detail here. If you want to skip this portion, you can still come back and use it as a reference. I’ll be going over the Adjustment, Effect, Borders, and Type menus because I use them the most. This doesn’t mean the other menus don’t provide cool features (they totally do), it’s just I don’t use them as much as the others.

A.  Adjustment Menu. The options I use the most on this menu are the Crop and Focal features. Again, explore the other options and you will probably discover your personal favorites as well.

♦   Crop – You can perform a “free crop” (X:Y) or use the defaults. There is a 1:1 (square) choice, which is good for Instagram pics and your Facebook profile pic. The remaining options are different size rectangles. You can also manually enter a width and height for something such as your Facebook cover photo. Simply punch in the dimensions used in the image below. For this project I didn’t crop at all.

Image showing dimensions for Facebook profile and cover images.

Dimensions for Facebook profile and cover images.

Image showing the Focal feature in Pixlr Express

Using the Focal feature in Pixlr Express

♦   Focal – This feature is REALLY neat because it allows you to focus on a certain point in your image and blur everything around it. There is a circular and linear option so your images can have a tunnel vision effect. You can also adjust the intensity of the blur so it looks anywhere from slightly out of focus to “ruined” by smudging. You can see that I chose the circular style. Dragging the outer (dashed) ring adjusts the blurred region, and adjusting the inner ring enlarges/reduces the area that is focused.

Image showing the Effect menu in Pixlr Express

Using the Effect feature in Pixlr Express

B.  Effect Menu. This menu allows you to apply a wide array of filters to your image. You will see that there are a series of options ranging from “Creative” to “Vintage”. Each of these sub menus has a series of filters below it so be sure to explore them all.

NOTE: Once you find a filter you like, select the heart icon at the far left to add it to your Favorites. This way you won’t have to dig through endless options to find that one favorite you were looking for. All you have to do is select the Favorites button and all your favorites will come up. If you want to remove an option as a favorite, simply click the heart again and it will be removed.

Image showing the Vintage menu under the Effect tab in Pixlr Express

Using the Vintage menu under the Effect tab in Pixlr Express

My absolute favorite option to bug around with is the Vintage menu. You can see that I used the Favorites option above since all of the choices have a heart next to them. You can’t see it here, but in the picture at the beginning of this post, I applied a couple different filters from this menu. Don’t just experiment with one. Use 2, 3, or even four filters for different looks.

Image showing the Borders menu in Pixlr Express

Using the Borders menu in Pixlr Express

C.  Borders Menu. Next I’ll move onto my borders. Some of these have different filters, too – they don’t act strictly as “borders”. Again you can see I’m using my Favorites menu and applied the “Scrap” effect you see below. I also used the “Sand” filter applying it several times after I rotated it in various directions. It gives the edges a “dirty”/worn look. Again, experiment with the different borders. I’ve added some examples below.

008009010

Image showing the Text menu in Pixlr Express

Using the Text menu in Pixlr Express

D.  Type Menu. Finally, let’s check out the Type menu. I don’t use this in my photos but wanted to show it to you because it’s pretty neat. You can use this menu to add text but one really neat way I’ve used it is to make a watermark. Especially useful if you don’t want someone to use your images.

Below, I’ve typed “watermark” in the text field and chosen my font (3Dumb). Then I resized it and adjusted the transparency using the “Color” option. Check out the second image to see what the options are.

Image showing how to make a watermark in Pixlr Express

How to make a watermark in Pixlr Express

Picture1

4.   Save the edited image. When all is said and done, you can save your image. But first, here’s some pointers I use-

Image showing the Save dialog box

Give your edited image a different name so the original is always preserved.

♦   File name. To preserve the original image, I always add a letter to the end of the file. That way if I don’t like the edits and needed to go back to the original image, it will still be accessible.

Another image showing the Save dialog box.

Always use the highest quality resolution (100) when you save your images.

♦  Quality. I always ensure the quality is at 100.

Here’s some other images I’ve edited in Pixlr-

wpid-20140911_175227_20150630145258081.jpg

wpid-20150627_190601.jpg

little_island_013a

little_island_001a

wpid-20150612_180704_20150620203310268.jpg

storm_004 storm_005 sun_003a quotes_tools_001

Thank you so much for taking your time to read this post, my friend!

Have you experimented in Pixlr? Do you have a pointer for the rest of us? Or maybe you have a favorite app you use? Share with the group in the Comments section so we all can learn!

 
 

Tags: , , , ,

How Can You Promote Your Blog with Pinterest? [TUTORIAL]


You might be asking yourself…

Why Should I Be Using Pinterest to Promote My Blog?

Well, here’s three solid reasons-

  1. Because it’s free.

  2. Because it’s free.

  3. BECAUSE. IT’S. FREE.

So HOW Do I Use Pinterest to Promote My Blog?

Here’s how I do it:

surviving_the_specter_pinterest_001

1.   Create the board on Pinterest. You’ll need to have a Pinterest account before you start “pinning”, or posting images to categories, or boards. In the image above, I titled the board and entered a subheading and then put the link for my blog at the top of the board.

2.   Create the “pin”. Once your board is created, add the pin. Here’s how to do it –

♦  First, I save the image from my post (the quote shown here) on my hard drive.

♦  Next, I upload the image as a pin by clicking the Add Pin button.

♦  Then I add a description in the white space below that.

♦  Finally, (and THIS is where your traffic will come from) in the last section you’ll have to site the source, which is your blog. Just copy/paste your blog address OR the address to the specific post. I used the blog address just to save time but should probably start using the address to the original post.

surviving_the_specter_pinterest_002

3.   Enable Pinterest on your account. Follow this breadcrumb to navigate to the page under your Settings tab on your dashboard:

♦  Settings > Sharing > Enabled Services

I have the WordPress and Twitter buttons visible while all the buttons on the right are hidden under a “Share” button. A person can use any button shown below, it’s just the ones on the right are hidden – it’s a neatness factor for me and my ADD. Fo’ REyull.

Capture

Come check out how it all looks!

There’s several different ways to use Pinterest but the big thing is to get out there, experiment, and have fun with it!

So when it all comes together, here’s some examples of my boards that deal with mental health. You can follow a person’s individual boards, or you can follow all of their boards. I have 169 thus far…it’s really addictive. Especially if you’re a visual person.

Surviving the Specter

https://www.pinterest.com/clewis5039/surviving-the-specter/

Depression

https://www.pinterest.com/clewis5039/depression/

PTSD

https://www.pinterest.com/clewis5039/ptsd/

Codependence

https://www.pinterest.com/clewis5039/codendence/

Anxiety

https://www.pinterest.com/clewis5039/anxiety/

Here’s some other boards you might like-

Quotes (my most popular board)

https://www.pinterest.com/clewis5039/quotes/

Keeping the Faith (Faith-based, scripture)

https://www.pinterest.com/clewis5039/keeping-the-faith/

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Come Git You Some Guest Blogging! Wathcu Waitin’ For?


Computer_keyboard

I just created a new tab, “Guest Blogging” on my menu bar. I am super excited to start doing this as a regular part of my blog. Surprisingly, a lot of readers are confused with the idea so let me try to explain it as best I can 🙂

What Is A Guest Blog?

A guest blog is when you write a post for someone else to put on their site, or vice versa. You can be the host or you can be the blogger.

“Why the heck would I want to write a post for someone else’s blog? DUH!”

I’m glad you asked…

What Are 5 Reasons To Guest Blog?

1.   First of all, it’s really fun. If you need proof, reach out to the bloggers who have been kind and giving enough to write a post on this blog. They’d be happy to share. Check out Sass’ and morgueticiaatoms guest posts. They were WON.DER.FUL. (Thank you again, ladies X) Also check out the guest post I did for the Mental Health Writer’s Guild.

2.  It can also help you attract followers (since you’re basically “advertising” to someone else’s followers). This is more of a selfish reason, but it’s a fact that if you want more followers, guest blogging on someone else’s blog is a way to do that.

3.   It’s a way of sharing.  We have a big niche and a lot of fabulous bloggers in our mental health community. Though I have met some wonderful people, I will NEVER be able to read every single blog post written by every single mental health writer. Guest bloggers help us introduce each other to, weeeellllll, each other. It’s a beautiful thing!

4.   It builds others up. Imagine being an introvert like me and someone asking me to be a guest blogger?!?! It would give me an ego boost or certainly make me want to step my blogging up to the next level. If you notice that you’re having regular dialogue with those on your blog, ask them if they’d guest blog for you.

Go to their About page and find their email address, or just ask them for it. Send them a quick line asking them if you could write a post for them. It’ll probably be the start to a beautiful friendship. That’s good stuff!

5.   It increases fraternal bonds. We deal with stigma in the mental health community. This strengthens our bonds with each other and gives us a support system. increasing the bonds of our niche, and just a nice way to get to know other bloggers and broaden each other’s horizons.

Who Can Guest Blog?

Uh, anyone.

Some people may advertise it openly on their site. Others may not. Point is if you want to post on someone’s blog because you respect the information they put out, or whatever, you should ask them. The worst they can say is “no”. That’s a keeper rot thare!

“But I don’t have enough followers. Only 50 people are following me.” Uh, SO? It’s fun. Do it.

You Didn’t Make Any Sense. Where Else Can I Read About Guest Blogging?

http://coschedule.com/blog/content-marketing-guest-blogging/

http://www.dailyblogtips.com/?s=guest+blogging

http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/?s=guest+blogging

So go check out the “Guest Blogging” tab and take a chance. This could be the start to a wonderful friendship.

Have you guest blogged for someone, or had someone guest blog for you? Share your thoughts in the Comments section. I’d love to hear them!

 
 

Tags: , , ,

I added a “Rate This” button!

I added a “Rate This” button!

Yes, that’s it. Right there at the top of all my posts. Just under the title.

Capture

Would you please help me see what you, my readers appreciate by selecting a star?

If you thought it was garbage/needs to be improved, leave 1 star.

Thought it was alright? Leave 3 stars.

You dug it? Leave 5.

All comments are greatly appreciated and thanked! Thank you for helping me be a better blogger, everyone.

-Chris

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on 03/08/2015 in Blogging

 

I NEED YOUR HELP!

I NEED YOUR HELP!

First, I want to tell you I am not having suicidal thoughts, and this is not a safety issue. But I do honestly need your input-

I want to hear your thoughts, opinions, constructive criticisms on my posts.

One of my goals is to increase the dialogue with my readers. Though I’m always looking to attract and increase a like-minded followership, my primary goal is to increase the dialogue with my readers. I want to spark discussion amongst the people who are already here; who get my email notifications; who see my posts in their Reader feed.  I want to increase reader engagement. I want to know how to grow. While any one of us will take compliments, I am interested more in what I am not doing, and what I could be doing to be a better blogger in the depression/suicide community. Here’s how you can help me improve my posts. Please provide your thoughts on-

1. …what I could be doing, which I currently am not.

2.  …what I could be doing better.

3. …what I need to change/stop doing.

Here’s some specific mind joggers:

♦  Do I need to write less? More?

♦  Do I need to reach out to other bloggers?

♦  Do I need to improve my writing? How?

♦  More images? Less images?

♦  Do I need to blog about different topics or continue as I’ve done? (I write on largely clinical depression and my suicide attempt.)

♦  Is my blog/site hard to navigate? Confusing? Unfocused? Weak? Negative? Uninspiring? Condescending?

♦  What has worked for you in your blogging?

Thank you all for your feedback.

May you have peace through your valley -Chris

 
13 Comments

Posted by on 03/03/2015 in Blogging

 

Tags:

Image

What if I Don’t Have the Time?

What if I Don’t Have the Time?

Hello again! Today’s post is a little off the subject of clinical depression, but I still believe it will be extremely helpful if you’re here reading and are looking for intuitive ways to improve your blogging. Also, as people with depression, we should look for things we enjoy and appreciate in life. The positives. Learning fascinates me and I want to learn about being a better blogger. My inspiration in this area has come from Michael Hyatt’s posts. He is my social media superhero. This writing is based on his post, “How to Blog if You Don’t Have Time” and can be found here – http://michaelhyatt.com/no-time-to-blog.html

Mr. Hyatt has been my inspiration for blogging, branding, and branching out into social media. His posts on productivity are a particular favorite of mine – they are tremendously insightful and practical. I use a lot of the apps he uses (though I am an Androider, sorry Mr. Hyatt) I invite you to visit his site (Intentional Leadership – http://michaelhyatt.com/) and if blogging is a passion of yours, purchase his book, Platform.

With that said, I am not being paid or endorsed by Mr. Hyatt to write this. Aside from holding the author in high esteem, I wanted to write this post for several reasons. I started blogging in January and have completed the Blogging 101 course by WordPress and am finishing up the Blogging 201 course this week. I haven’t written a blog based on someone else’s post so I wanted to test the waters here. Make sure I’m doing it correctly. I also wanted to try to incorporate functionality I hadn’t used in the past – e.g., inserting a block quote and linking back to the original post. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: , ,

 
Land of Oyr

Εpic Fantasy

Making Maps: DIY Cartography

Resources and Ideas for Making Maps

Astrographer

Gathering a Community of Worldbuilders

The Wild Heart of Life

"He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life." ...James Joyce

Dyson's Dodecahedron

Award Winning Dungeon Design

Fantasy In Motion

Live by the pen, die by the sword...

The Cool Mama

Adventures in art and design

ars phantasia

reflections on fantasy cartography & game design

The World according to Dina

Notes on Seeing, Reading & Writing, Living & Loving in The North

Slay Girl Society

A website for people who want to thrive with positive mental health. Created by a woman with bipolar disorder.

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

flashlight batteries

Poetry: Emergency lighting for times of darkness and fear

The High Octane Shine Blog

"This isn't a blog about mental health 'perfection', or finding that elusive post-traumatic cure. It's about learning how to be ill *well*"

Lucky Rabbit's Foot

... not so lucky for the rabbit!

Owning It

Claiming boyhood, staring down sexual abuse

Vitality

The Power Of Enduring

English-Language Thoughts

English-Language Thoughts

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple

Growing older is inevitable. Growing up is optional.

Sound Bite Fiction

where nothing is quite what it seems

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

irevuo

art. popular since 10,000 BC

From the Darkness into the Sunshine

sexual abuse,survivor,healing,life as whole

The Cotswold Company Blog

Country Inspired Furniture

Lynn Thaler

Weird and Random Thoughts

Crown Print

a book blog

Speak Out Society

Speak up, even if your voice shakes.

autismthoughts

My experiences with autism, depression, and life

A Mental Health Blog by Al Levin

Men & Depression, Suicide Prevention & Awareness, Mental Illness Stigma, & Our Broken Mental Health System

tenacitytdotcom

PIECES OF ME...

Br Andrew's Muses

From head to pen - A great WordPress.com site

thedrabble.wordpress.com/

Shortness of Breadth

Two Angels and a Black Dog

The journey of a single mum with bipolar

HarsH ReaLiTy

A Good Blog is Hard to Find

FICTION

My oasis in the desert of the living.

Truth Vindicator

Liberating truth and free thought with words of wisdom, wit and wonder

Soul Joy

Learning To Live A Life of Purpose to bring Joy to my Soul and Yours whilst Living with Acromegaly

Joys of Joel

The Poetry of My Life through My Writings and Journeys

Someday Tomorrow

On a journey to a happier place

The Bold Mom BLOG

www.theboldmom.com

%d bloggers like this: